Cold never bothered him anyway: Yolmer Sanchez has big game for White Sox

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Chicago White Sox’s Yolmer Sanchez hits a two-run triple during the first inning of the White Sox home-opener baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Thursday, April 5, 2018, in Chicago. | Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Saying it was cold for the White Sox’ home opener Thursday against the Tigers would be an understatement.

At one point, Sox first baseman Jose Abreu helped the Tigers’ Leonys Martin, who was standing on first, adjust his face mask.

Third baseman Yolmer Sanchez, like most of the fielders, wore long sleeves under his jersey and a ski mask. He also greased his entire body with Vaseline and jumped side-to-side in the infield during the game trying to stay warm.


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Although it was 30 degrees with occasional flurries, conditions Sanchez had never played in, he showed no signs of being iced up.

At first pitch, it was 87 degrees and sunny in Sanchez’s native land of Maracay, Venezuela.

“It’s crazy, but you have to make adjustments and do everything to keep working,” Sanchez said.

Adjustments are key, especially because — as manager Rick Renteria pointed out — “everyone played in the same weather.”

Sanchez didn’t let the chills get to him. He took control of the plate early.

In his first at-bat, he tripled into the right-field corner, driving in two runs. He also hit a triple in the same spot in the fifth inning to score Matt Davidson and give the Sox a three-run lead. Sanchez finished 3-for-5 with three RBI.

He also was solid in the field, starting what was then a key double play to end the eighth. Sanchez snatched a grounder hit by Jose Iglesias, touched third to retire Victor Martinez and threw a bullet to Abreu to get Iglesias at first.

Sanchez’s strong game at the plate came after he hit a 442-foot bomb — the sixth-longest home run in the majors entering Thursday — at Rogers Centre in Toronto during the Sox’ 14-5 loss to the Blue Jays on Tuesday.

Six games into the season, Sanchez has seven RBI. At this time last season, he only had three (all of which came in one game).

“It’s only six games in, but it’s always good to start with something good and try to keep the rhythm,” Sanchez said after the Sox’ 9-7 loss to the Tigers. “And hopefully we can continue to put in the good work.”

Sanchez, who has a slash line of .400/.500/.800, expects more from himself in his fifth season in the majors. During the offseason, Sanchez worked on keeping his swing consistent.

“[It’s the] same swing,’’ he said. ‘‘I just try to not do too much and put the ball in play.’’

Sanchez hopes to build off his performance against the Tigers.

“I feel good,’’ he said. ‘‘I tried to see the ball, hit the ball and do the simple things. And today, it worked out for me, so I’ll try to keep up with that.”

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